Originally Posted by smithsc
we have charged it via the mains for 12hours yesterday to no avail
Are you using the mini-usb socket or the round, yellow one?
If the usb one, it won't charge from the mains & is probably completely flat - try connecting it to a computer & look for the red led on the top to light up, but give it a while as it may not even have enough power to light that to start off.
(Or see if you can locate a generic PSP charger to charge via the round, yellow socket.)